Ultrathick MA$_2$N$_4$(M'N) Intercalated Monolayers with Sublayer-Protected Fermi Surface Conduction States: Interconnect and Metal Contact Applications

arXiv (Cornell University)(2023)

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Recent discovery of ultrathick $\mathrm{MoSi_2N_4(MoN)_n}$ monolayers open up an exciting platform to engineer 2D material properties via intercalation architecture. Here we computationally investigate a series of ultrathick MA$_2$N$_4$(M'N) monolayers (M, M' = Mo, W; A = Si, Ge) under both homolayer and heterolayer intercalation architectures in which the same and different species of transition metal nitride inner core layers are intercalated by outer passivating nitride sublayers, respectively. The MA$_2$N$_4$(M'N) monolayers are thermally, dynamically and mechanically stable with excellent mechanical strength and metallic properties. Intriguingly, the metallic states around Fermi level are localized within the inner core layers. Carrier conduction mediated by electronic states around the Fermi level is thus spatially insulated from the external environment by the native outer nitride sublayers, suggesting the potential of MA$_2$N$_4$(M'N) in back-end-of-line (BEOL) metal interconnect applications. Nitrogen vacancy defect at the outer sublayers creates `punch through' states around the Fermi level that bridges the carrier conduction in the inner core layers and the outer environment, forming a electrical contact akin to the `vias' structures of metal interconnects. We further show that MoSi$_2$N$_4$(MoN) can serve as a quasi-Ohmic contact to 2D WSe$_2$. These findings reveal the promising potential of ultrathick MA$_2$N$_4$(MN) monolayers as metal electrodes and BEOL interconnect applications.
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